Today's edition of quick hits:
* The shutdown and its effect on veterans: "The U.S. government has re-started sending checks to the families of fallen soldiers. President Obama signed legislation into law late Thursday that will resume death benefits to the military families in mourning. But there are still more than 5 million veterans who are reliant on pensions and disability payments from the federal government, and those checks could be at risk as the shutdown continues."
* Talks continue: "Republican senators emerged from a meeting at the White House on Friday afternoon expressing confidence that a deal could be reached in a matter of days that would end the government shutdown and extend the nation's borrowing authority, but cautioning that details of an agreement, including the length of an extension, still needed to be worked out."
* House GOP and Senate GOP reading from different scripts: "House Republican leaders have offered a new plan to lift the debt ceiling and reopen the government after meeting with President Obama Thursday."
* A huge development in the military: "A top general in charge of the U.S. Air Force's arsenal of nuclear ballistic missiles has been relieved of his command due to loss of trust, defense officials told NBC News."
* In India, this could prove to be quite deadly: "Officials in Orissa and the northern part of the adjoining Andhra Pradesh state, scrambled Friday to evacuate thousands of people from the coastline as a major cyclone headed for landfall from the Bay of Bengal."
* Afghanistan: "During a testy video conference in June, President Obama drew a line in the sand for Afghan President Hamid Karzai. If there was no agreement by Oct. 31 on the terms for keeping a residual U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Obama warned him, the United States would withdraw all of its troops at the end of 2014."
* Pakistan: "Latif Mehsud, second-in-command of Pakistani Taliban forces, has been captured by American forces and is being held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday."
* A welcome reversal: "Two days after announcing that about 50,000 women and infants would have to go without nutrition assistance due to the government shutdown, North Carolina officials reversed course on Thursday without providing a clear picture of how the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) financing gap had been resolved."
* Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told Fox what it didn't want to hear: the government shutdown really is Republicans' fault.
* I always find it discouraging to hear elected officials in the deep South lament the outcome of the Civil War.
* And if you enjoy listening to older, white, conservative men, the non-MSNBC Sunday shows have just what you're looking for.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.